Start-up LePrix has revealed expansion plans in Europe and a pivot in its business offerings.
Perhaps a signal of upcoming consolidation or trials in the consumer-facing resale space, the Washington, D.C.-based start-up is closing shop on its direct-to-consumer offerings and shifting to what it calls “LePrix Wholesale.” Under its business-to-business wholesale marketplace, the start-up logs 150,000 new resale items each month.
Its European business will be led by president Camille de Vregille (formerly at Louis Vuitton). An online statement from the company spotlighted the immediate transition of LePrix.com into a pre-owned wholesale platform for businesses, halting future consumer orders.
“In short, our expansion into Europe brings retailers in that region access to the inventory and tools that are crucial for successful resale initiatives,” Elise Whang, chief executive officer and cofounder of LePrix, told WWD. “And that’s important for the circular economy, which is global, because Europe is such an important player in this ecosystem. Their long and storied history is steeped in luxury. They’ve produced the world’s most iconic brands and now the continent represents half of the global preowned luxury industry, an industry expected to reach a value of $47 billion by 2027.”
To date the company has raised $11 million in funding over several rounds, with the last round being led by Lyra Ventures and Aucnet in December for an undisclosed amount, per data from Crunchbase. Industry advisers for LePrix include Christine de Wendel (formerly of Zalando) and Gilt Group founder Alexandra Wilkis Wilson.
Going forward, LePrix Europe aims to provide retailers an easy way to source pre-owned inventory, muscling in on the lucrative resale sector by waiving the procurement steps on retailers’ behalf, taking on tasks in authentication and other reverse logistics services.
“There’s unlimited opportunity in the $36 billion resale ecosystem. The business challenge has been getting access to amazing supply at volume and online. That’s the problem that LePrix is solving,” said Whang. “By uniting the entire value chain in a single, secure platform we’re providing a scalable means to source authentic, pre-owned inventory to propel the virtuous cycle forward.”